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Nokia Tablet Set for Apple iPad Clash

Nokia's tablet launch clears its early stages and remains on track for a big fall debut amid intense competition.



) --


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gets further down the path toward a tablet showdown with


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Confirming what


first reported in April




that Nokia has produced about 100 tablet prototypes for developers in the hopes of having an iPad-like touchscreen device ready for sale this fall.

Nokia is expected to have an Intel-powered tablet running on the Meego operating system, says Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who first noted the Nokia plans in April. DigiTimes however, says the Nokia tablet will be powered by an



processor, but that would conflict with the Meego strategy, which is a partnership between


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and Nokia.

Apple vs. Nokia Is China a Game-Changer?

Nokia is eager to make something happen in new generation mobile devices, an area where the phone giant has been alarmingly ineffective. Nokia added a new chapter to that decline Wednesday warning of a sales shortfall for the second time in two months. Nokia has been crushed by the smartphone success of Apple and


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Android phones


The Finnish phone shop's tablet move comes as other players jump in, drop out or retool for a promising new product category. Apple's iPad got off to a huge start with more than 2 million units sold.

Tablets face a make or break moment in the all-important holiday season, and the players have been busily adjusting for the opportunity.


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dropped out of the race, shelving its Courier eBook device.


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wiped its Slate effort clean vowing to return with



powered tablets. Google and


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are expected to introduce a tablet soon and


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may be working with

Google on a tablet

powered by the Chrome operating system.

Recent history will show that Nokia hasn't had much luck outside its core phone market. Nokia's bold entry into the netbook market with the

Booklet device fizzled

upon launch last year. So investors probably aren't expecting miracles from Nokia's tablet venture.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.